Why I Believe the World Needs Cheese
By H.G. Miller
Let's face it. In the fields of theoretical research, the dairy industry has
been left relatively untouched. Sure, we can all get a tour of the local cattle
farm and maybe spend ten minutes fondling the utters of a heifer named Bessie,
but how does this lead us to true enlightenment?
Any individual who has reached beyond themselves in the search for truth (or,
had to take a class in philosophy 101 at whatever community college let them
in) knows that there is more to processed Kraft Singles than some yellowish
cheese and clear cellophane wrapper. If they've really thought about it, I mean.
No, I am not high right now.
I'd like to quote Nietzsche here in saying that “[t]ragedy is so far from
providing evidence for pessimism among the Hellenes in Schopenhauer's sense
that it has to be considered the decisive repudiation of that idea and the
to it”, and while this really has nothing to do with anything, I believe he
makes a poignant point. And, while I don't necessarily know what it is, that
will not stop me from drawing my own conclusions.
The world needs cheese. There, I've said it. Lock me up if you'd like, but you
can't conceal the truth forever.
Can you imagine a world without cheese? A lactose-intolerant cripple's fantasy?
Grocery stores with half of aisle three missing? It's horrifying. If this were
a movie, the lead character would have to be played by Charlton Heston in his
prime, or maybe John Travolta just before all of those talking baby movies. I'm
talking real tragedy here.
But, let's pause for a moment. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Why not
first tell you what cheese means to me? Why not, indeed.
When I was a little boy, my mother used to make me these grilled cheese
sandwiches. You know the type. Bread, butter, cheese and an appropriate amount
of bacon grease, all grilled at 350 degrees for a period of approximately four
minutes. Those were good days and great meals.
I still like to cook these delicious meals today. Oftentimes, when dates first
visit my apartment. Of course, my being single is really irrelevant. The point
is, grilled cheese sandwiches remind me of better times.
Maybe it's the greasy fingers, or the film of coagulating cheese just outside
the charred crust of bread, or the heavy beating of my heart, but something in
my arteries tells me that ancient cheese is still with me today.
I just can't imagine life without that memory. I feel that cheese is one of
those few foods that really holds the fabric of our society together. The kind
of product that helps us to trace the evolution of the human race.
Did they have cheese in the stone age? I think they worshipped cows back then,
with little thought to the delicious by-products hidden within. Nowadays - with
those weird foreign countries aside - we line cows up by the thousands and have
machines milk them for all their worth.
Is this progress? Or have we given up our gods for the sake of convenient,
unhealthy, mass-produced dairy delicacies? Is it a sign of our technological
advancement that we've gone from a street-side vendor in the renaissance
selling whatever he found at the top of his milk bucket to present day's
brightly-packaged, vacuum-sealed and ready-to-eat party dips? Or has the little
business man been crushed by corporate America?
As with all great philosophies, cheese really offers more questions than
answers. However, I think that by opening up a debate on the subject, we may be
able to find ourselves a deeper understanding of who we are and where we came
And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally be able to stare at the wall of shredded
cheese in aisle three, stroke my chin, and say, “yeah…”